The One Billion Rising global demonstration of women took place in cities and towns large and small around the world on Feb. 14. Launched by V-Day, an organization founded by Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues,” the call to action struck a chord across national boundaries.
Feb. 14 was the 15th anniversary of the founding of V-Day, which is dedicated to fighting violence against women and girls around the world. (See vday.org)
The call for One Billion Rising states that, according to United Nations’ reports, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. “One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution,” asserts the One Billion Rising website.
While a revolution did not occur, such a widespread outpouring of women indicates that women everywhere have had enough and want an end to violence and degradation.
In Karachi, Pakistan, more than 1,000 women gathered in an open-air theater to protest “the blood and tears of women.” Media reports noted the event “was free and open for all and the diverse audience consisted mostly of working women, factory workers and their children.” (tribune.com.pk, Feb. 18)
Thousands danced in the Philippines and Congo along with their sisters in New Delhi, London and Johannesburg, said National Public Radio on Feb. 15. Events took place in Poland, Indonesia, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Iceland, Nepal, Egypt, Ethiopia and Afghanistan, reported the Feb. 14 issue of the Guardian.
Dances, flash mobs and other events took place throughout the United States, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to New York City and scores of other cities. Many of these actions drew attention to the national Violence Against Women Act, which expired in December. The VAWA was recently passed by the U.S. Senate and activists are urging the same from the House of Representatives, where it faces a tough fight from reactionaries.
The U.S. is among only a handful of countries that has not signed on to the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a treaty adopted by the United Nations in 1979.